Govt pledges $50M to reducing greenhouse gases

By Samantha Hayes

The Prime Minister has re-affirmed his belief that humans are responsible for climate change.

John Key has announced $50 million of new funding for research into reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture - and promises more is on the way.

Opening the greenhouse gas research centre in Palmerston North, Mr Key called it a modest building for which he has big expectations.

"We don't have an option but to tackle this, half of our entire profile of greenhouse gases comes from the agricultural sector," he says.

The centre has been given $5 million of funding per year for a decade.

Proof the Government is confident scientists will solve the agricultural sector's big problem.

"I back them to do that, you may have to throw some money at them and give them some time but we've already see progress being made," says Mr Key.

The centre is a virtual hub for research being carried out all over the country.

"We will be funding work around reducing something called enteric methane, which is the methane which is belched out of the animal," says the Greenhouse Gas Research Centre director, Harry Clark.

Scientists have found that in a controlled environment one sheep may belch up to 50 percent less methane than another sheep.

The findings provide promising grounds for breeding animals which produce far fewer greenhouse gases.

And for those sitting on the climate change fence, Mr Key reiterated his stance.

"I think human induced climate change is occurring. We can have a debate about the speed and the impacts but my own view is that it is occurring," he says.

More funding for science will be announced in the May budget.

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